Recently, while transporting a 72-inch-long piece of boxed furniture home in my vehicle, I was grateful for one thing. It was not 73 inches long.

I doubt it would fit. It took enough shifting, shoving and sliding to get this hefty box in far enough to close the rear door. Talk about a workout.

I wonder how much time in our lives we spend trying to figure out how to get things here or how to get things there?

Whether it's a big old Christmas tree or a tiny fragile gift, transporting can get tricky.

School project? Count on high winds and downpours the morning it's due.

Cake for a co-worker? Know the only available parking space will be in the back lot.

Goldfish? Don't even get me started on goldfish.

I often think pot-luck dinners should be called pot-unluck dinners. There's nothing like hearing the soup slop around in its kettle in the trunk while attempting to get it safely to your destination.

It's the same with any party food, really. I have seen a fruit platter dropped upside down on the ground upon arrival. An elbow land in the middle of a pumpkin pie covered in plastic wrap.

I'm all for being in charge of bringing the packaged dinner rolls. Nothing can happen to them. I don't think.

Know what I hate? How the seats in a car slant down slightly in back so if I try to place something securely on them, it doesn't work. Neatly arranged cookies on a plastic platter slide off to one side. Frosting on cupcakes smears on the lid of the box.

There's always the floor or the trunk, but packing for those areas has its challenges, too, as you head over the river and through the woods.

Of course stores sell all sorts of specialty containers for, say, carrying cupcakes to the school orchestra party or pies to the family gathering.

The problem with these, however, is that you usually have to dive deeply into your cupboards to dig them out, label them with your name and, finally, remember to bring them back home again. Then, if you do indeed remember, do you leave behind any leftovers or bring them with you? Wash the container there or at home?

We once had a guest arrive at our house for Thanksgiving dinner carrying freshly baked pies in a covered basket designed especially for transporting them.

At the time, it looked rather Little Red Riding Hood-ish to me but, having had my pie crusts crumble en route somewhere, I may ask to borrow it sometime.

Another thing I have noticed is that cars that appear to be about the same size often aren't. What fits in one trunk may not fit in another.

And that's when the phones start ringing.